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A Sexton Chronology


Compiled with information supplied by Diane Wood Middlebrook

1928 Born Anne Gray Harvey on November 9 in Newton, Massachusetts.

1934-47 Educated in Wellesley public schools; graduated from Rogers Hall, Lowell, Massachusetts.

1947 Attended the Garland School, a Boston finishing school for women.

1948 August 16: eloped with Alfred Muller Sexton 11 ("Kayo").

1949-52 Lived in Boston area, with brief residence in Cochituate, Baltimore, and San Francisco.

1953 July 21: Linda Gray Sexton born.

1954 July 15: Anna Ladd Dingley ("Nana" ) died at age eighty-six.

1955 August 5: Joyce Ladd Sexton born.

1956 July13-August 3: hospitalized for treatment of anxiety; children sent to grandmothers.

1957 January: enrolled in John Holmes's poetry workshop at Boston Center for Adult Education. Met Maxine Kumin.

1958 Scholarship to Antioch Writers' Conference to work with W. D. Snodgrass. Began attending Robert Lowell's writing seminar at Boston University. Met George Starbuck.

1959 January: Sylvia Plath joined Lowell's seminar. March 10: Mary Gray Staples died of cancer. May 19: Houghton Mifflin accepted To Bedlam and Part Way Back for publication. June 3: Ralph Churchill Harvey died of cerebral hemorrhage, August: received Robert Frost Fellowship to attend Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

1960 April: To Bedlam and Part Way Back published) nominated for National Book Award. June-July: courses in modern literature with Irving Howe and Philip Rahv at Brandeis University.

1961 Began writing play. Appointed to Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study.

1962 October: All My Pretty Ones published; nominated for National Book Award. November: Levinson Prize from Poetry.

1963 May 22: awarded traveling fellowship by American Academy of Arts and Letters. August 22-October 27: tour of Europe with neighbor Sands Robart.

1964 Selected Poems published in England. September-March 1965: Ford Foundation grant for residence with the Charles Playhouse, Boston.

1965 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, London. Received the first literary magazine travel award from the International Congress of Cultural Freedom.

1966 August: hunting safari in Kenya with Kayo Sexton.

1967 May: awarded Pulitzer Prize for Live or Die. Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America.

1968 July: formed rock group "Anne Sexton and Her Kind." Taught poetry at McLean's Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

1969 April: Guggenheim Fellowship for work on play Mercy Street, produced at American Place Theater, New York City, October 8-November 21. Began teaching at Boston University and conducting workshops for Oberlin College Independent Study students.

1970 June: honorary doctor of letters, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.

1972 Promoted to full professor at Boston University. May-June: Crashaw Chair in Literature at Colgate University. Honorary doctor of letters, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut.

1973 May 5: Transformations in opera version by Conrad Susa premiered by the Minneapolis Opera Company. August: lectured at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

1974 October 4: died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage of her home.

from Sexton: Selected Criticism. Ed. Diana Hume George. Copyright 1988 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Reprinted by permission.


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